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Out of the Lion’s Mouth Mystery Play
May 4 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
“OUT OF THE LION’S MOUTH: 2019”
MAY 4, 7 PM
MAY 5, 4 PM
Yes, they’re back! Satraps, lions, poor vain and foolish King Darius (this time with two sidekicks called Cyrus and Xerxes), and of course, Daniel. Paul Dedell’s “Out of the Lion’s Mouth,” featuring the singers of both Senior and Junior Choir Schools, will be presented Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 5 at 4 pm. These performances feature Marian Wojcik as Daniel, Caleb Fritz as King Darius, Bill Shontz as guest clarinetist and the voices of the Choir Schools with narration by Jayne Fritz. This modern take on a medieval mystery play is a quirky new look at a fascinating old story – Daniel in the Lions’ Den.
“Out of the Lion’s Mouth” was the first in a series of 4 such plays written by Paul specifically for the Choir Schools. He explains, ” “I began by wanting to write something using a children’s choir and the story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den just jumped out. It offered some great opportunity for humor, as well as being a story that is surprisingly relevant. I liked the idea of having a children’s chorus sing the role of the officious and corrupt Satraps, who were jealous of Daniel because the King preferred him. They also resented him because he was a cultural outsider, a Jew who was taken captive after the Babylonian conquest of Judea.”
Paul says “The lions in the story gave me a lot of pleasure. In the original story, they are merely ferocious. I embellished upon that and decided that they would be both proud of their ferocity and pleased with their cushy job in the arena. I enjoyed thinking about how much fun the kids would have singing the raucous lion song, with its rather ridiculous lyrics.” For the current production, Paul has added a part written specifically for Clara Fritz as Lioness-in-Chief. “I couldn’t resist writing a rather vampy tango for Clara to sing to Daniel. She has such a great comedic presence, and happens to actually know how to dance the tango!”
Caleb Fritz takes on the role of King Darius. Paul explains “King Darius is vain, easily swayed, and desirous of keeping his power. Even so, he sees qualities in the honest Daniel that he admires and trusts. The music I wrote for him is more complex – sometimes pompous and smarmy, sometimes wistful and questioning. Caleb is fantastic in this role! Daniel is played by Marian Wojcik. She sings in a beautifully pure and unselfconscious manner. Like the character of Daniel, she herself is thoughtful and has a brave heart. Although the character is male in the original story, the part was written to be played by either a boy or girl soprano.”
Paul uses a vaguely “Babylonian-Judean” sound for the instrumental music, which is scored for klezmer clarinet and piano. Guest clarinetist Bill Shontz joins Susan Dedell at the piano for this production.
You really won’t want to miss this truly enjoyable hour-long production! There is no admission fee, but donations of any amount will be gratefully accepted and will help fund further Mystery Play Projects.